Tag Archives: SmartLabel

A Connected Lifestyle for 2017

We are all living a Connected Life in 2017.

Connected and mobile commerce is a way of life for us all and businesses are striving to leverage this connectivity to improve consumer safety, the customer experience and increased market penetration.   The growth of cross-channel commerce is a core component of every business plan, regardless of industry or geography.

Global market leaders embrace product content as vital to their engagement with business partners and customers.  Trusted content turns that engagement level into commitment.  Every business leader knows that more content is better, but what we have all learned is that trustworthy information is often the difference between loyal, repeat consumers and lost sales; or worse injury from lack of available product information.

The Smart Label initiative for consumer goods and EUDAMED and the FDA UDI regulations for medical device labeling initiatives, provide guidance for companies on which content is needed to aid patient safety and provide consumers with information to make health and wellness decisions.  However, in the absence of regulations, what content is needed, which channels, and how frequently?  These are problems many companies are challenged with in 2017.  Digital content is a requirement, not a luxury; and the proliferation of the content consistently remains obstacles to be overcome for all industries globally.

In the 1WorldSync data study launching in April, Charting the Course for Global Commerce, over 400 global respondents reported thirty-nine percent of merchants cannot support mobile commerce, and 68 percent have yet to integrate product information management capabilities across web, mobile apps and in store.  Establishing a connected commerce platform remains elusive for many companies.

The 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud solutions continue to evolve and leverage both industry best practices and best in breed technologies to assist our community in overcoming many of the connected commerce challenges: from UDI and Healthcare solutions in Asia, Europe & the Americas to Hazmat solutions and retail apps for increased sales and market penetration.

The Connected Life is a reality for consumers, patients, brands, suppliers, hospitals, governments, retailers and distributors….Everywhere, Every Day.

SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust

Product transparency has been an ongoing conversation with manufacturers and brands as consumers are becoming more savvy, more connected, and more socially and environmentally conscience of their everyday food, beverage or household purchases. According a study from Bonfire Marketing, 63 percent of customers would buy from an authentic brand (Vision Critical 2016).

To Be, or Not To Be Transparent  – What’s the Bottom Line?

As Paul Norman, President & CEO, Kellogg’s stated in a release on GMO labelling last year, the focus on consumer trust is more important than ever before: “At our core, Kellogg’s believes in transparency and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from (Kellogg Company Newsroom 2016).” The promise to deliver product information to the general public is becoming less than a question of why, but now part of an overall strategy to ensure confidence and assurance to shoppers, especially brand loyalists. With legislative and regulatory policies enacted in past years, particularly regarding food safely (i.e. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011), major manufacturers are moving to the forefront to support and empower the infomed consumer.

Product transparency also dismantles unreliable, third-party sources floating in the land of social media and the internet. By shutting down the ‘alternative facts’ of product composition and restoring company reputation, manufacturers are now taking back the control to compete for consumer attention and buying power –  by being upfront and honest.

The SmartLabel™ Revolution and How It’s Changing Shopper Knowledgeability

At the end of 2015, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced the launch of SmartLabel™ –  a technological initiative in form of highly detailed, online landing pages to provide easy access to a plethora of information consisting of nutrition, ingredient, and other compelling facts on thousands of food, beverage and consumer products. With over 30 major companies taking part, the goal is simple: provide accurate product information for all to access in one place.

1WorldSync had the pleasure of partnering with Progressive Grocer and GMA to raise the torch and carry on the dialog with an insightful and informative webcast titled, SmartLabel: Turning Technology and Transparency into Trust – now available for on-demand viewing.

The webcast featured industry experts from Albertsons Companies and The Coca-Cola Co. as they thoroughly explained their full support and participation in the SmartLabel™ movement.

The webcast touched on the following:

  • Why transparency matters – shoppers are more inquisitive about their product choices resulting in a demand for full disclosure to fit personal lifestyle needs and wants.
  • How SmartLabel™ works, the criteria behind it, and the many ways users can access it
  • What manufacturers are doing to promote brand loyalty and trust by using real-time technology to share information (i.e. Coca-Cola’s QR coding) and understand customer purchase decisions.

Here’s the Real Deal…

As the SmartLabel™ portfolio continues to expand and gain serious traction this year (GMA projects 34,000 products to be available to consumers by the end of 2017), so will shoppers continue to pay close attention to what’s beyond the packaging label. With an unprecedented amount of brands vying for shoppers’ attention, the opportunity is vital to build loyalty from products that consumers know they can trust, and are safe. Let’s face it! Brand transparency isn’t going away anytime soon. Don’t take our word for it, just watch the webcast!

At 1WorldSync, our expertise is enabling brands and retailers to deliver trusted content to consumers. As a dependable partner to more than 25,000 brands and retailers, our SmartLabel Solutions is specifically designed to assist our customers deliver and distribute industry initiative requirements seamlessly and efficiently via the 1WorldSync Product Information Cloud. To learn more, click here.

 

References:

  1. Vision Critical, 2016. ‘13 stunning stats on brand trust and authenticity.’ https://www.visioncritical.com/authenticity-stats/
  2. Kellogg Company Newsroom, March 23, 2016.  ‘Statement from Paul Norman, President, Kellogg North America, on GMO Labeling.’ http://newsroom.kelloggcompany.com/news-releases?item=131647

The Organic (R)evolution

What may seem like a revolution has really been a slow and steady renaissance. Certainly before the 1920s, all agriculture was generally organic.  But then along came modern techniques, chemical pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers leading to the rapid dismissal of organic farming methods for many decades.

A quick fast forward to the ‘be natural’ approach of the 1960s and 1970s, and consumers were suddenly interested in health, nutrition and environmental conservation. But organic foods were still not in the mainstream (think hippies and off-the-beaten-path health food stores) and despite the audience buying, were expensive and exclusionary.  Conversely, most Americans at that time were enjoying inexpensive TV dinners, Hamburger Helper and casseroles made from canned soups.

By the 1990s, organic foods spread to the corners of specialty supermarkets and were the cornerstone of newer food emporiums, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Unfortunately, organic food costs were nearly double or triple their non-organic counterparts. And aside from the expense, availability was also limited.  Not every neighborhood boasted a Gelson’s or Bristol Farms. Going organic was for the few and the elite.

Today, the organic industry has moved beyond a niche market. Organic products now occupy prime shelf space in the big chain supermarkets, mainstream retailers and are much more accessible and affordable. Food giants like General Mills and Kellogg have entered the organic game and many small organic food companies have grown into large businesses. For example, ‘O – Organics’ just launched a new ad campaign with the main message being “We believe that great tasting organic food should be available to everyone and sold everywhere at a great value.”

In fact, the “booming U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015, with total organic product sales hitting a new benchmark of $43.3 billion, up a robust 11 percent from the previous year’s record level and far outstripping the overall food market’s growth rate of 3 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2016 Organic Industry Survey.

So clearly, it’s not just hippies and health food nuts jumping on the organic train. Today, according to the OTA, “It is the face of America. The demographics of the organic consumer are not any different than the demographics of America.”

For retailers, the growing organic market continually increases the potential for more sales. However, it can be hard to lure new customers in and keep them as your customers. Industry trends have shown that to gain more customers, providing consumers with the information they demand is the key. This begins with offering the products consumers want, which can be discovered within 1WorldSync Showcase; and requires transparency of product information in the form of an easily accessible standardized, digital label, such as the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution.

1WorldSync keeps a pulse on all consumer and market trends so that your business can continue to thrive while maintaining the brand loyalty it has established over the years, whether it began pre- or post-organic renaissance.

A Virtual Trip Down the Grocery Aisle – How Consumer Shopping Trends are Shifting

Got the list?  Check.  Got the coupons?  Check.  Grab the kids and off you go for a thrilling ride to the local grocery store.  Up and down the aisles, comparing labels, mentally calculating totals and if you’re lucky, you’ll be unloading those groceries about 2 hours later.  Sounds like a fun Saturday.  Fortunately, for many, there’s some relief in the form of online groceries and it’s revolutionizing the way people shop.

And while technology has brought the supermarket to consumers’ fingertips online, there is also a digital wave happening within the aisles of the store, as we see mobile become part of that same shopping experience.

Really, you ask?  Take a look at some recent stats.

  • Nearly one-third of shoppers say they would use various forms of digital technology if it were offered at their grocery store. The most desired offering shoppers would like to see is an app that provides the ability to order items not available in store and the ability to scan items as they shop in order to bypass checkout.
  • Thirty-six percent of shoppers are interested in using an app or web portal to preorder prepared foods they can pick up at the store.
  • More than 40% of shoppers report buying grocery purchases online at least once a month.

Since most shoppers are never far from their smartphones, online ordering is easier. Plus, there simply are more ways to shop online for food and other household products. Certainly, digital changes are disrupting the way consumers shop and eat. Healthy living products, including dietary supplements such as vitamins, minerals, herbs and other botanicals, amino acids and metabolites, as well as cosmetics, organic body and personal care products, pet products, sports nutrition and health foods are more readily available.  And just by virtue of the wide availability means that comparison shopping (prices, ingredients, etc.) is far easier.  That’s great news for consumers who are busier, pickier and far more demanding than ever.

The CPG and Foodservice industry landscapes continue to transform and grow and the demand for transparency of product information is more important than ever before. 1WorldSync solutions for transparency and compliance, such as the SmartLabel solution, can help those businesses meet these demands, regulations and ultimately, free up those crowded grocery store aisles.

This Year’s Back to School Checklist Includes Transparency & Traceability

Samantha is allergic to dairy, so please be sure she isn’t served milk! Luke has a nut allergy, so it’s critical that he avoids all foods with peanuts.  Harry is allergic to milk and eggs, so he has to steer clear of foods with either of these ingredients (think cupcakes, cookies and other treats).

Welcome to the lunchroom – the thunderous meeting ground of lunch tables separated by food allergies.  There’s the “No Peanut” table, “No Milk” table, “No Gluten” table and for some schools, even a “No GMO” table.  Have we become a society of extremely picky eaters?  Well, pickiness aside, studies show that food allergies affect up to 2 1/2 million children. Six foods account for 90 percent of all allergic reactions to foods in children: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soy. Aside from peanut and tree nut allergy (which are considered life-long), most children will outgrow their food allergies.  But until then, parents and students remain vigilant and cautious in managing those allergies to stay healthy (and alive).

That level of vigilance has translated to greater national awareness and standard school guidelines via the CDC, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), USDA and US Department of Education.  So with parents and students requiring much more transparency and traceability, does your organization have a trusted way to provide them with nutritional information in a fast and easily accessible format? Can your organization easily share that info with healthcare professionals, parents, and government agencies?  If not, don’t you get schooled!  Instead, consider the following SIX to do’s:

  1. Establish repeatable global processes and content for product information compliance and transparency
  2. Manage your product information to address Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Health, Safety & Environment policies
  3. Address compliance with specific global transparency initiatives, such as GMA SmartLabel or the EU 1169 Food Regulation.
  4. Capture, store, manage and distribute product data, information and content in accordance with global regulations – e.g. Hazmat, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSAI), Reach/GHS
  5. Leverage global consulting, content validation and verification services for chemical ingredients and harmful substances.
  6. Establish repeatable processes for material safety data sheets (SDS) and digital as well as physical handling and distribution of compliance documentation.

Fortunately, this is exactly where 1WorldSync can help.  Our proven solutions can help protect and grow your sales to discerning consumers, by offering total product information transparency on all channels.  Even schools now have the ability to provide full nutritional transparency to the right people, at the right time, in the right format. 1WorldSync Showcase for Foodservice is a boundless marketplace that allows you to discover and publish products, and more importantly product information, in a standardized, easily accessible, digital format…and ensuring accurate nutritional information such as ingredients, allergens, and serving size.

Click here to learn more about how 1WorldSync Showcase for Foodservice.

1WorldSync Exclusive Community Benefits – Get the most out of DC

As 1WorldSync’s self-proclaimed community enabler, I am beyond excited to offer the 1WorldSync Community exclusive access to industry innovators who are excelling in today’s digital world. We invite you to to meet experts from Walgreen’s, Tyson, Kellogg’s, Johnson & Johnson and more!

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Go beyond the label with the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution

Transparency and trust are critical in today’s shifting marketing place.  Consumers are making smarter purchasing decisions on the spot by using their smartphones to access information about the products they buy. *  Connect consumers with your products and deliver an empowering consumer experience.

Adopting SmartLabel for your products is an easy and efficient way to demonstrate your commitment to your consumers and stand out from your competitors.

SmartLabel goes beyond the label, bringing extended attributes right into the palm of your consumer’s hands. As transparency becomes more critical to your consumers, your ability to provide trusted product information to your consumers is a strategic differentiator.

At 1WorldSync we understand how important this initiative is to brands, that’s why we made an easy and efficient way for you to add a SmartLabel solution to your existing subscription. Learn more about the 1WorldSync SmartLabel solution or contact your account manager to get started today!

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*Source: http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/food-revolution-millennials/

Roses are red, violets are blue, I love chocolate but I’m allergic to glu (ten)

‘Tis the season. You romantics might know it as Valentine’s Day, but for us chocolate lovers, its chocolate month. It’s everywhere you look. Giant and small, in heart-shaped and square boxes, accompanied by various t-shirt wearing stuffed animals, and in weird and wonderful shapes (I’m looking at you chocolate heart-shaped key). For a chocolate lover like me, this has always been the most wonderful time of the year…until this year. When I found out that I have an intolerance to gluten, I was afraid it was going to put a bit of a damper on my ability to indulge in the libations of the season. Lucky for me, the U.S. FDA has a law requiring gluten-free products to be labeled, so I know exactly which chocolate heart-shaped keys I can happily enjoy, and those that I can’t. This got me thinking about my beloved chocolate, and labels, and what ingredients are in the products I know and love.

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Halloween is coming soon… What’s in your basket?

It’s that time of year again…costumes are littering the house, pumpkins on the porch, and the kids are asking “what candy are we giving out this year?!”  This used to be a straight-forward question, but now we as  parents are left asking “what can we give out?!”  With thoughts in our heads of: what is nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, healthy and “cool”?  What’s fun but also a healthy alternative to the sugar-filled, fatty options?

Our kids’ school is not a “nut-free” zone, but the school does designate certain tables as nut-free.  At the same time, they are serving cookies at the lunch window, along with certain sugary beverages. So while, we’ve made strides to keep our kids safer and healthier, there are still many areas to work on.

Strides:

  • According to the USDA Smart Snack Final Rule, acceptable food items must have ≤ 35% calories from total fat as served and ≤ 35% of weight from total sugar as served. *
  • At least 39 states currently have some kind of competitive foods standard already in place.**

Slides:

  • Between 1977 and 1996, the number of calories that children consumed from snacks increased by 120 calories per day.***
  • There are still no federal requirements for Childhood Nutrition Labeling
  • Poor nutrition  effects a child’s ability to learn****

Since there are still no federal regulations forcing schools to label the food served, we as consumers and parents must gather as much knowledge as possible to help our children make the best and safest decisions when it comes to what they eat at school. Whether it’s evaluating gluten content, allergens, or ingredients, we want the information at our fingertips. Literally, whether I search online or I am shopping at my local grocery store, I want to be able to quickly and easily evaluate the food items I am putting in my physical or online shopping cart.

Thankfully, organizations like the Grocery Manufacturers Association are introducing new initiatives like SmartLabel, which seeks to standardize nutrition information available to consumers so they can make informed decisions – for our own kids and the ones that will knock at our door at the end of the month.

For Halloween…I’ve decided to give out pencils…really.  Unless a child eats one, I should be safe, right?!

Authors:

  • Kelly Kucera, Sr. Director, Industry & Commercial Marketing
  • Krista Gervon, Americas Marketing Manager

*http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_summarychart.pdf

**http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_QandA.pdf

***http://cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/healthy_school_snacks.html

****http://www.publicschoolreview.com/blog/how-diet-and-nutrition-impact-a-childs-learning-ability

Technology, Transparency & Trust

The Three Pillars Defining Our Age

In our last blog, we discussed current pressures impacting the consumer markets, including the FDA’s Public Law 111-353 through its “Food Safety Modernization Act”, as well as from other governmental and ‘watchdog’ groups’ reviewing the food industry.

But we are now living in an age that is going beyond government mandates, because whether you are in the automobile or the peanut butter business, Transparency & Trust have become ‘headline’ concerns not just for regulators but ever more, and no less importantly, for consumers. And, in light of the latest news from the automotive industry, we must now acknowledge the irrefutable reality that there are, beyond government penalties, other consequences for brand equity and the managers who manage it.

In the recent past, most business have lived in the “IT” or Information Technology era, with an emphasis on the ‘T’- the technology aspect of the collection and storage of data. Advances in technology are now pushing us toward the Information (‘I’) age or Zettabyte epoch where the capture, storage and retrieval of information, and its access to all, is virtually unlimited. In this evolving new age, the mantra is … ‘If information can be known … it will be known!’

For today’s ‘Connected Consumer’, the entire universe of information is only a click away. Social media platforms, blogs and apps are keeping everyone constantly connected. Individuals increasingly feel the need to know—and share —everything. Whether its product reviews, political opinions, a family vacation, a dinner pic, or even their innermost thoughts, people are living their lives completely out in the open, laying bare all manner of minutiae online. And, while brands are noticing and looking for new ways to create corresponding connections they, too, are being laid bare.

As a result, consumers today are personally experiencing and demanding Transparency, before giving Trust. For a brand or a business, Trust from their customers and employees is critical. Transparency, is now an information technology mechanism that allows Connected Consumers access to information that defines a certain innate dissonance which always exists between disbelief and belief. Technology and Transparency therefore combine to determine the level –and increasingly a measurable level– of ‘Trust’ that is so critical to the success of a business and a brand.

Russell Ackoff, a noted academic and business consultant, often chided his students and clients to “stop doing the wrong things righter and do the right things.” Technology, Transparency & Trust are forcing marketplace change— a change that no longer allows a business to do the wrong things righter to enhance the P&L—it is a change that requires business to do the right things.

Hail the Consumer!

To learn more:
Brand
Etailer

As Global Vice President for the Consumer Markets, Michael Forhez, who recently joined 1WorldSync, brings 20 plus years of diversified experience in sales, marketing and management consulting. Frequently called upon to write and speak on subjects germane to the consumer markets, Michael is currently responsible for evangelizing 1WorldSync offerings within the Consumer Products and Retail sectors while engaging various stakeholders to better understand their collective requirements.